Sunday, February 12, 2017

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Last week, after a long wait, we finally got some snow. Not much, not even bad to drive in, but enough to make me happier, as I'm one of those odd ducks who feels that seasons need to be seasonal. I don't know that I could live in a place without four seasons. Fittingly, we had a family weekend in the mountains planned, and the snow had covered everything up there as well.

It was quite a noisy weekend, but we had fifteen people in a range of ages. There were nerf gun fights, noisy games, and endless chatter. But there was tea, and knitting, and reading, and the newest baby in the family to snuggle and coo. My introverted self got to feeling quite overwhelmed by Saturday afternoon, so I went for a walk before dinner, just to see what I could see. It was at that time known as the golden hour, right before sunset when the shadows are long and the light is golden (this happens in the morning, too, just after sunrise).

I only like footprints breaking up the snowscape when they're animal feet. Otherwise, it feels invasive.

My legs are only this long in shadow--I'm fairly tall but my legs aren't long. I get to have the fun of finding shirts to fit my long torso.

It was a warmish sort of day, so I was accompanied by the drip-drip-drip of snow melting from the trees. The areas in shadow were noticeably colder, so I was quite pleased I had packed some hand-knit socks. Although I was only walking through the housing development, it was so very quiet. Other than the occasional passing car, the only sounds were that of two crows cawing back and forth at each other as though they were having some sort of argument. I kept trying to get photos of them, but one would fly away, and the other would follow, all the while 'yelling' at each other.

So I guess that way > is north, huh? The landscape was bare--it was brown and white, and even though the sun was peeking through, the sky was pretty gray. So I got silly giddy when I spotted this on my way home.

I will always-always-always love red against the white snow. I used to have a nail polish named 'Cherries in the Snow' and it was the most perfect shade of red ever. I think it was made by Revlon, but I have no idea if it still exists. When I got back to the house, I sat with some tea and knitting. I felt so much better--the perfect kind of cold that isn't uncomfortable but that hot tea is made to remedy quickly, both proving so very refreshing.

I was quite surprised to wake up this morning (it was supposed to be in the forties) to hear something pinging off of the glass--oh, yes, sleet and freezing rain.

Ice on the trees is so pretty, almost fairy like, with a plinky-plunky sound when the breeze blows, but is oh so dangerous. I hope the ice melted off before any of the branches broke.

Days like this always remind me of the Christina Rossetti poem--

"In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, 
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago."

There was a winter (I think it was 1994) where almost every day in January we had ice storms. School was closed more often than not. Midterms were supposed to be finished in early January, but didn't finish until mid-February due to the constant cancellations. Tree branches were encased in ice, and we had to chop at the sidewalks with shovels to break the ice enough to shovel it aside. I remember it breaking apart like less-fragile panes of glass. The weatherman would get excited to report that the temperature had gone above freezing so things would be melting. Just in time for another storm to come through and refreeze. It was endless.

This was nowhere near like that, but added a little element of fun to the weekend, complete with a caravan of cars sticking together to the main roads in case anyone got stuck. I'm sure others wouldn't say fun, but I will because it's now in the past and all ended well.

Back home in Philly everything was simply wet. I finished knitting the socks I had been working on, polished my nails, had my tea, and resigned myself to the fact that tomorrow is Monday again.


  1. Lovely walk. I also find myself retreating when I'm in a crowd, I quite feel l like an introvert, though no one would describe me as such. I chatter, a lot, but I keep loads of things hidden and private as they can be. We've had lots of snow as well, but it has kept me from going running, so lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing indoors.

    1. I can be very chatty and animated, and am quite fine, but some people drain my energy and I need to recharge even if I'm not interacting with them. That walk was quite restorative. I was hoping to spot a few deer at least, but except for those two crows--nada.

  2. I just checked the map and realized that you are due south of me. We got nearly a foot of snow, yesterday. The province of New Brunswick is closed today, because of snow. Yeap, they closed the whole province.
    After three months of it, I could use a break. Even bare sidewalks would be nice.
    Okay, enough rant. I think it might be a good day to sew. Turn on my OTT lights and pretend I'm in the Caribbean! Bring on the large floral prints!
    Glad you had a good "vacation".

  3. Like that picture of the tree trunk with a little greenery at the bottom.

  4. Oh, how pretty! I love the frozen branches... I don't think I've ever seen that before!



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